I went to see Bolt, the new Walt Disney film, this weekend (along with my target audience). I watched it in 3D with the help of a pair of Elvis Costello-like spectacles given out at the door.
Bolt is one of the new wave of 3D films now pouring out of Hollywood in an effort to give the technology another chance. The 3D films of the 1950s initially caused great enthusiasm and talk of a revolution but the excitement faded. Read more
I was reminded the other day that it currently costs £13 to enter Kew Gardens as a visitor. Since I grew up in Kew, I happen to be an expert on the history of the entrance fee to Kew Gardens and it is mind-bogglingly high compared with the past.
Forgive the middle-aged reminiscence but, when I was a child, it cost three pence (yes, a thrupenny bit) to get into Kew Gardens. Upon decimalisation in February 1971, they put the price down to one new penny, or 2.4 old pence. Read more
My FT column this week is on the London premiere of Sex and the City and what it, and the show, says about the future of film and television. You can read it here and comment below. Read more
Further to the Eliot Spitzer scandal, I recommend to readers the comment left on my earlier post by Ava Xi’an. It starts as follows:
As a highly-paid escort in New York City, I have to say that I’m completely unsurprised by the events that have unfolded the past few days. I am curious, though, as to how it will affect my industry in the coming few months (the Empire Club was one of the top 5 “VIP” agencies in the tri-state area). Read more
Reading the federal complaint against the prostitution ring in which Eliot Spitzer, the New York state governor, apparently became caught up is an insight into how even this sort of business is just that – a business.
The Emperors Club VIP was clearly at the top end of prostitution enterprises. It operated across borders – in Paris and London as well as in US cities – and it was very expensive. Clients had to pay between $1,000 and $5,500 per hour for its services.
Like other service businesses, it had a loyalty club for the most elite clients who paid even more than $5,500 per hour, known as the Icon Club. It allowed some clients to “buy out” their favourite prostitutes, permitting the men direct access to the women without going through the Emperors Club.
The 47-page complaint shows the Emperors Club also faced many operating challenges. The federal wiretaps of conversations show the organisers facing problems such as having too few prostitutes for the demand from clients in one city and having to hassle clients to pay bills. Read more
Of what does the above picture remind you? Read more
It was noticeable, watching the Oscars, that there were a lot of foreigners ascending the stage of the Kodak Theatre to accept Academy Awards.
The show started with Alexandra Byrne, the British costume designer, being given a statuette for her work on the costumes for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and culminated in all four of the main actor and actress awards going to Europeans.
The high profile of foreign talent was as striking as the shift towards independent studios and away from big Hollywood studios in the 1990s, led by Miramax.
It strikes me as admirable that Hollywood has demonstrated once again its openness to foreign actors and off-screen talent at a time when there are fears in other US industries about foreign competition and the outsourcing of jobs.
Hollywood has become perhaps the most open industry in its employment patterns apart from Silicon Valley, which draws software engineers from around the world, and Wall Street, where many different nationalities work in investment banks. Read more
I posted yesterday on Barack Obama’s use of the internet for campaigning and fund-raising. It would be remiss not also to mention John McCain’s website, which includes a fun blog from the campaign trail by his daughter Meghan and two of her friends.
Given that 71-year-old Mr McCain is getting stick from the talk show hosts at the moment for looking like a doddering old man, it is rather astute to get his daughter in on the act. Read more